The 9/11 tragedy is still having an economic impact internationally

Hearing the international interpretation of current events is always interesting to me. With all the media outlets we have in the USA, we still only receive the US version of news. Here in Egypt, a USA friendly country, the impact of September 11th is still felt deeply in 2010.

A jeweler expressed it this way. ” Before 9/11 I owned a thriving business. For three years after 9/11 I had no business at all. Tourism completely stopped in this area of the world. I lost the business totally.”  He explained that although he is back in the industry, he no longer works for  himself. He is working for a relative. It was clear in his tone of voice that not having his own business any longer brings him constant shame. He feels his children see him differently now because of his changed status.

The presidential debate here is fascinating.

Many believe the best and most qualified person for the job is the son of the current president (Mubarak). Because Egypt is a democracy, loosely stated, many are against supporting the son for one reason only. “This is not a monarchy!” said one young woman. We must not allow the son to follow his father. She told me this will be  a critical election and everyone must vote to express their opinion. Hum, sound familar?

Here’s a twist on popular beliefs.

Muslim men are allowed to have many wives, but most do not practice this “right.” It is just too expensive! AND, the growing Christian poplulation, referred to as “Orthodox Christian” does not allow divorce under any circumstances.

And finally. Don’t believe what you see.

Although we know the power of Photo Shop and other technologies, often we believe a picture tells the story. Wrong. I discovered the Sphinx is far smaller than pictures illustrate. It is still impressive, but not the giant monument it appears to be in history books and post cards. Some Egyptian kings were quite brillant in applying optical illusions by placing monuments in certain locations to give the effect of size and thus power.

Tomorrow, on to the Citadel and the bazaars.